TSN’s Insider Trading panel talked rumours tonight, and they said that Lou, bottom right there in the montage, is not after any of those guys in the other pictures, he wants a shutdown D. Well don’t we all?
Name me a team that doesn’t.
Of course, your definition of shutdown D and mine might be very different. I’d like someone who can do what Roman Polak does, only at an elite level and at speed. I’d like someone who can take a puck off the opposing player’s stick with mind powers alone. I’d like someone who actually has heard of the correct way to play the pass on a two on one.
What’s that Freddie?
How to get one though?
The other thing they said was that Peter Holland is on the trade block. That is also an obvious thing. When the Leafs waived him in the middle of his contract talks last summer, that did not scream out, "We love you!"
But about those contract talks. The Leafs signed Holland to a one-year deal for $1.3 million. That is a tough amount of money for a guy that, from an outsider's perspective, can’t kick Ben Smith out of the lineup. If he’s a fourth line depth player, he’s overpaid for a cap-strapped team. And even talent-strapped teams like Vancouver, the Islanders or New Jersey might balk at the price. A team like the Rangers who just lost a forward to injury might be interested, but again, the cap hit is tough to take.
If the Leafs could finagle a deal where they take back a contract like they did with Brooks Laich, it might happen, but it seems like the market for marginal players isn’t really hot right now, and the Leafs haven’t done anything to make him look less marginal. He does not seem destined to bring the Leafs a shutdown defender.
If they do trade him, that puts the likelihood of a Tyler Bozak trade, low before, at nearly impossible. But it would solve their roster problems and a little of their own cap problems in a legitimate way. Maybe it’s time to put him on a Black Friday sale and just cut bait on him if they don’t want to play him. They could throw Josh Leivo in as a gift with purchase.